We spent 4 nights here and stayed in one of the standard rooms on the second floor of the main lodge with a view of the volcano. An unexpected plus was having wireless internet available- apparently the wireless network in the lounge area downstairs from us was strong enough to cover our room. The property itself was beautiful and there were several well marked trails that roam throughout the area surrounding the lodge buildings. Take advantage of the daily walking tour that covers many of the trails, including one that leads to an impressive waterfall. You may be lucky to spot some monkeys in the upper limbs of the trees but you'll need to look hard to see them. Word of caution: while taking a walk with my wife we had the rather unpleasant surprise of meeting a wild boar who wasn't pleased to see us. Walk calmly, don't run away. If you like horseback riding the lodge offers the chance of exploring the property aboard a nice calm horse with a fantastic guide named Herman. For $10 per hour it can't be beat. The food is pretty good and the free breakfast is decent. Prices for lunch and dinner are not too bad, especially when you consider that it will cost you $60 to go into LaFortuna and back to eat at a local place. If that's not enough to deter you, maybe the long, incredibly bumpy ride will. The only major problem we encountered here was on our last night when a large private party was held in the restaurant that is located next to the main building. The party was extremely loud and ended after the office closed, thus the partiers were able to congregate right outside our window well into the night.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated only 1.7 Miles from the majestic Arenal Volcano and with a spectacular view of Lake Arenal, the Arenal Observatory Lodge (AOL) offers guests the opportunity to DISCOVER, EXPLORE and RELAX. Located within the Arenal Conservation Area and surrounded by rainforests and nature, AOL sits on an 870 acres property, which consists of 400 acres of reforestation, 270 acres of natural forest and 200 acres of cultivated land. The hotel offers 48 comfortable rooms surrounded by gardens, the majority with a direct view of the volcano and/or the forest. The 7 miles of well-maintained trails for walking, horseback riding or biking running through the property provide good opportunities to observe a variety of flora and fauna. Approximately 500 species of birds live in the area making AOL a preferred destination for bird watchers. Activities at the hotel include hikes to the waterfall or to explore Cerro Chato (an extinct volcano with a small lake in the crater), horseback riding, bicycling through the trails, enjoying a refreshing swim in our pool, or simply relaxing with a massage in our SPA. The hotel is well located to serve as a base for a variety of excursions such as the Cano Negro Nature Refuge, hot springs, Venado Caves, Canopy Tours, Arenal Hanging Bridges, Fishing, White Water Rafting, Canyoning, Biking etc. It also serves as a very interesting stop before heading on to Monteverde Cloud Forest or to the beaches of the Pacific coast. Arenal Observatory Lodge is the perfect place for adventure lovers, families, and honeymooners. With its spectacular location, great service, and friendly personnel you won't be disappointed ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Arenal Observatory Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
- Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park